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USA TODAY Sports
Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell is pictured taking a knee while wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom in a photo he tweeted on Monday.
Russell’s gesture came after President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players galvanized the sports world and led to more than 250 players kneeling during the national anthem over the weekend. Owners and coaches also joined gestures of solidarity and condemned Trump’s comments.
“Proud to take a knee, and to stand tall against social injustice,” read the caption on an unverified Twitter account is listed under Russell’s name.
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Russell, 83, was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2011 by President Barack Obama. He has long been involved in civil rights and activism. He became the first African-American to coach a team in one of the major professional sports.
Many NBA players, including LeBron James, also spoke out in support of the NFL movement.
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